This Is What Happens When You Do What You Love

Let me tell you about my friend Ken.

Ken was an IT professional, and had a Microsoft certification.  He worked in the industry for years.

But he also knew that it wasn’t his passion — he liked computers and he liked helping people, but it wasn’t the technology that really motivated and energized him.  He had no ambitions to be like a head of IT department, overseeing big networks.  He wanted to stay on more of an end-user support or helpdesk level, where he could work with people and help them directly.  So his career really wasn’t going anywhere, as what he preferred was low-end jobs, relatively speaking.

When he moved to Saint Paul over a year ago, he assumed that he would get another IT job.  So he did the regular job hunt thing — post resume on Monster, talk to recruiting agencies, take on some temp projects, and so on.  But nothing was working.

Discouraged, he started questioning his career direction.  He and I sat down to talk one time, and he admitted that he was a poor fit, personality-wise, to a lot of IT guys he’s seen — who appeared more macho and often arrogant, driven more by the thirst for technology than by working with technically-challenged.   He told me about one IT director who spent his personal time following latest tech news and trends, and Ken admitted he wasn’t like that.

Now, Ken also knew that he was into working with wood.  A few years ago he took a break from IT career and was a freelance handyman for a year or two.  While he didn’t enjoy the whole self-employment deal — he didn’t like promoting, bidding, or following up on customers to pay — but he liked the act of working with wood.  His wife and friends who knew this encouraged him to explore more of that direction in his career path.

In fact, one day my wife found him a help-wanted listing by a small local toy manufacturer, one who specializes in making high-quality wooden toys.  It needed some temp help to deal with pre-Christmas boost in business.  Ken was intrigued, and he applied to the job.  When the owners of the business got in touch with Ken, he found that he liked them very much.  Unfortunately, they were non-committal about bringing him in, being cautious about the volume of business now that economy was on the rocks.

And here is where it gets interesting: Ken went to visit the business, and realizing that he was indeed very attracted in making these wooden toys and working with these people, he volunteered to help.  For no pay.  I just want to gain some experience, he said — you don’t have to pay me, just let me work.

Moved by his interest, the owners accepted, though they were conscientious enough to offer him some pay for his work.

A few months later, the owners liked Ken so much that upon confirming that they had enough business to keep him, they offered him a full-time, permanent-with-benefits job.

Ken was so ecstatic and proud, that he took my family out to dinner to thank us, as my wife was the one who saw the original job listing.

Financially, I know this was a major downgrade.  There’s a big gap in pay scale between IT professionals and wooden toy manufacturers.  But Ken is so happy to work now — he just can’t wait to go to work each day.

So here’s the moral of the story: if you know what you love, start doing it.  Even for a few minutes a day, or for no pay at first — just do it.  If it is love that’s driving you, then love will find a way to make it work.

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12 Responses to This Is What Happens When You Do What You Love

  1. 2Da1 says:

    Sweet and inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

    Peace and blessings,
    2Da1

  2. Mike King says:

    Great point here in the article and discussion. I love the notion of how passions tie in to our work and that we can actually tie our work into our passions. Sometimes they grow on us and become a passion simply by being positive and persistent with a job. When you do that, the best parts of what you do get even better and often turn into a role in itself which ultimately creates alignment of your passion and work. I know that has happened to me in my workplace, yet people still tell me that I am lucky to find a job that fits what I love. I didn’t, the job came first, and as I learned what I loved about the job,k the job molded into different roles to become a job that really fit what I was good at and wanted to do. Go figure. Anyone can do that.

    Mike King´s last blog post..8 Methods to Find Inspiration

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Mike!

      Welcome to OBV! I hear what you’re saying about luck — there’s no luck involved there, is there? I suppose my friend Ken was “lucky” in many places — my wife finding a job listing for him, the owners being nice, their business having enough volume to keep him — yet all these things wouldn’t have happened unless he went for it.

      In the other words, if you want to get lucky, focus on what you love.

      ari

  3. Jennifer says:

    Ari, I loved this story. I’ve been reading similar stories in Think and Grow Rich. This was truly inspiring. It just goes to show that we can create the job we love. We don’t have to settle doing something that doesn’t fit us just to make money to buy things that won’t bring us happiness. Maybe, just maybe, if we’re happy doing what we love, we won’t “need” these other things to give us “happiness.” Thanks for sharing this Ari. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Lessons from Peace Pilgrim

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      You’re welcome. I do think that we spend an enormous amount of time and money compensating for a job we don’t love. Once you cut that out, all the sudden you find that… you don’t need quite as much money any more.

      ari

  4. I’ve always told people that if all they have to do is live more frugally, and sacrifice some luxury items, they should take the pay downgrade and opt for doing something they love to do, vs. something they hate just for the money. The happiness and lack of stress will make their lives so much better, they won’t miss out on a fancy new gadget, expensive clothes, or other luxuries.

    Kikolani | Blogging, Poetry, Photography´s last blog post..Living a Healthy Lifestyle

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Kristi,

      Yes, and the other thing to consider is what the stress of working a job you hate is doing to your body. There’s no doubt about it: stress creates illnesses. Even if there are little discernible symptoms, the body is storing up all that stress — or you’re spending time and money else where purging it. Is that really a good use of money?

      ari

  5. To love your work, now that is passion. 🙂 The universe is always expanding and through passion you help it expand.

    You also help yourself expand in the process too. You teach others to reach points of empowerment through living your passion (whatever your passion might be), since you are connecting to your emotional output. Passion teaches both sides: the giver (of passion) and the receiver to expand, grow, evolve, etc. Passion is built on purpose and purpose always leads to progress through a series of events.

    Here is a list of the steps in how passion teaches both sides (hence, giving/ receiving value in abundance):

    1. The giver of passion is lead to a profound understanding about what they are passionate about.

    2. The passion within the individual reaches a dedication to teach it. They are then inspired with empowerment to share this newly found insight.

    3. Through repetition of sharing this universal knowledge of information, they subconsciously teach themselves to remember it. For example, professionals miss steps, leave details out, and consciously forget how to do their profession when teaching. Professionals do things out of habit and habits are done through the subconsciousness. The subconsciousness takes over and the consciousness is off thinking about other things. In order to teach, you have to gain conscious control and this is easy to do if your not a professional.

    4. Through a series of events, eventually they subconsciously program themselves to live what they are teaching (rather than just teaching it).

    5. Through living this empowered information, it leads them to another profound understanding, and the process repeats itself again. The infinite circle of progress is complete.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Nicholas Powiull´s last blog post..The Purpose/Plan of Consciousness. The Reason for Existence/Blue Print of Reality. Where We Been & Where We Are Going. Conscious Evolution

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Nicholas,

      Wow, your comment is a blog post in itself! Yes, I follow your chain there — it explains nicely why we need to go ahead and do what it is we’re passionate about. If you start it even in the smallest way, then it will grow.

      ari

  6. Lance says:

    Hi Ari,

    This is a great point – it’s not just going to jump out at us all the time – we’ve got to go after what we want. Even if it’s baby steps – those are still steps in the direction we desire. A point that’s good for me to hear…

    Lance´s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

    • Ari Koinuma says:

      Hi Lance,

      Thanks for the comment. Now, if I recall correctly, your passion was in writing, was it not? So you’re doing that already. And I know your blog is growing well. So you’re on the way!

      ari

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